^a^ a < /r/-^ Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2007 with funding from IVIicrosoft Corporation http://www.archive.org/details/fannygrahamorpeeOOamer Jfanni 6ra|Hm. THE NJEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY A^TOn, L»KOI AN» TILD»« >OU«r>ATlOHl Jp a n n u (G r a t; a m . What is the matter, Fanny ?"— p. 24. FANM GRAHAM; OR, A PEEP AT THE HEART. gi ^torg for Cbilbrttt. BY THE AUTHOR OF "HOME LIFE," «R0SA'3 CHILDHOOD" ETC. ^Ijilabclpbb: AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION, No. 316 CHESTNUT STREET. KEW TORK= No. 147 NASSAU ST BOSTON^ No. 9 CORNHILL. LOUISVILLE No. 103 FOURTH ST, T THE NEW VOHK PUBLIC LIBRARY imt 12B ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS B 1941 ^ L Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, hy the AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION, in the Cleric's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. JK^ No bools are published by the American Suxday-School Union without the sanction of the Committee of Publication, consisting of four- teen members, from the following denominations of Christians, viz. Bap- tist, Jlethodist, Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Reformed Dutch. Not more than three of the members can be of the same denomination, and no book can be published to which any member of the Committee shall object. FANNY graham; OR, A PEEP AT THE HEART. Faxny Graham lived with her father and her grandmother in a low, poor-looking cottage, which contained four rooms. There was a front kitchen, a tidy pleasant room, in which, besides other things, were a mahogany table piled up with books, an old clock with a half rubbed-out face, which ticked all day and all night ; and a corner cupboard with a glass door ; and there was a back kitchen fitted up with shelves and closets, where all the washing and cleaning was done. Over each kitchen was a bed- room. Fanny and her grandmother slept in one, and her father and her brother Harry slept in the other. It was a small house, but it was large enough for four people, especially when three of them were away nearly all the day, for Fanny went to school, and her father FANNY GRAHAM. and her brother were out at work. There was a large garden behind the house where plenty of potatoes and cabbages and apple-trees grew ; and a little slip of ground at the side filled with flowers. Fannj called this her's, because she always watered the plants, and attended to them. Fanny was a very little child when she lost her mother ; and for the next five or six years she lived with an aunt who had offered to take care of her. Fanny's aunt did not treat her kindly, nor did she teach her to read and work, as her mother would have done; so that Fanny did not know so much as most little girls of her age ; and she always seemed timid and frightened, because she was afraid of being scolded by her aunt. It was a happy day for Fanny when her father obtained constant work at Westbrook Farm, near the village in which he was born, and where his widowed mother resided ; be- cause, as he then had a settled home, he could have his little girl to live with him. Fanny found the change a pleasant one ; for her grand- mother w^as a good friend to her, and did all she could to make her happy and comfortable. Fanny soon began to look more cheerful and FAXXY GRAHAM. healthy ; and, as months passed aAvay, she grew so tall and rosy that her aunt would scarcely have known her. But the happiest persons have some troubles to bear, and even little Fanny met with a few things in her new home which were not very agreeable to her; but her worst trial, perhaps, was going to school. Kot that Fanny was unwilling to learn to read, or that she disliked the society of other children ; but she found herself so far behind the rest of the scholars, that she was ashamed and discouraged. Fanny was very fond of praise, and very desirous to be well-informed ; and therefore it Avas the more mortifying to her to find, day after day, that all the girls of her own age, and many far younger, could answer better than she did. But why did not Fanny try to improve ? She did try, and tried earnestly, too ; but it seemed as if the more she tried the less she succeeded ; at least fresh difficulties were constantly arising in her way. Every one said that Fanny was very dull, for she could not understand the most simple and easy lessons without very great trouble and attention ; and sometimes, after poring over her book for a long time, she would shut it up in despair, because she 10 FAN2sY GRAHAM. was unable to make out its meaning. Often wlien a question was addressed to her in her class, she would give so strange and droll a reply, that the girls would look at each other and laugh ; and then Fanny's cheeks would colour till they were as red as the roses in her own garden, and angry feelings would arise in her heart. Fanny was not naturally quick of compre- hension : but her early disadvantages made her appear slower than she really was ; and the discouraging opinion which she had of her own abilities kept her from making the progress she might otherwise have done. One of Fanny's school-fellows was a little girl about her own age, named Mary Ellis. Mary was a lively, intelligent-looking child, with light blue eyes and soft curling hair; and Fanny sadly envied Mary's pretty face and pleasing manners. She would sit sometimes and gaze on her bright looks, and listen to her correct and ready answers, until tears of sorrow and vexation would rush into her eyes. "It is very hard," she would think, "that Mary should be so pretty and so know- ing, while I am so dull and so awkward. It is no trouble to her to learn her lessons, and FANNY GRAHAM. 11 she gets so many good marks ; I wish I were Mary." Fanny did not reflect, and, perhaps, she scarcely knew, how wrong such thoughts were ; for no one had ever taught her about such things, and therefore she went on indulg- ing envious and discontented feelings, until she became dissatisfied with herself and with every one around her. One day, during the hour which those chil- dren who remained were allowed for dinner and play, Mary Ellis and three or four of the girls were standing together in the school- room, arranging some little game which they had chosen. <'We want one more now," said Ruth Wilson, ''let us have Fanny Graham." "Oh no, we cannot have her," said Mary, impatiently, ''she is so stupid, you know; she never does any thing right, and she will be sure to put us all out. Little Martha Shaw will do ever so much better." Ruth gave way at once, and little Martha Shaw was called to fill the vacant place ; while Fanny, w^ho sat at a little distance, apparently busily engaged with an old picture-book which she had found in one of the cupboards, bent her face over the pages to conceal the tears which would come in spite of her efforts to 12 FANNY GRAHAM. restrain them. She had heard every word which had been said, although her schoolfellows had not intended she should, and her heart was full of grief and indignation. It really was very trying to hear herself spoken of in such a manner; and Fanny could have borne it better if the accusation had been untrue ; but she felt that Mary's remarks were partly correct, and this made them the more annoy- Fanny sat with her book in her hand, think- ing over her troubles, and murmuring at her hard lot, till little Marti i Shaw, having finished her game, came running toward her, and asked to look at the bright pictures which attracted her attention. Fanny pushed the child away from her and said, crossly, "You cannot have it now, Martha. I want it my- self. You can go and play with Mary Ellis, if you like." Now Fanny had not turned over a single page in her book, ft)r she had been too sorrow- ful to look at it ; and yet she was unwilling to let little Martha have it for one minute. , The truth was, Martha seemed a sort of rival just then, and Fanny's irritated feelings made her unjust and unkind; for, at any other time she FANXY GRAnAM. 13 would have been pleased to point out the pic- tures to one of her schoolfellows. Fanny had not recovered her good temper when the school assembled for the afternoon ; and Mary's cheerful looks and merry smiles did not help to restore it. It happened that Mary had occasion to go to the opposite side of the room to get her thimble ; and as it was nearer to pass Fanny than to walk round the other way, she naturally attempted to do so. But Fanny was not inclined to be accommoda- ting ; so she stretched out her feet, and leaned herself forward, saying, "You have no business to come pushing here, Mary; you may just go round the other way." Mary was going to reply in an equally unkind manner, when their governess, who heard the dispute, re- proved Fanny for her rudeness, and desired she would allow Mary to pass quietly. Fanny Avas obliged to obey, but her dark frown and sullen behaviour showed that it was not pleas- ant to her to do so. Poor little Fanny ! She fancied that everybody was against her, and tried to make her unhappy ; and when school was over she hurried away that she might not have to walk home with Mary. Mary lived in a small village about a mile from the school- 14 FANNY GRAHAM. house; and none of her schoolfellows came from the same distance but Fannj. Mary's parents were much richer than Fanny's, and they indulged their little girl very much because she was their only child ; and they spared no pains nor expense to give her a good education. She w^as quick and industrious, and fully repaid their efforts. She was more forward than most girls of her age ; but her success with her studies, and her gene- ral good character, made her rather vain of herself and inconsiderate about others. She was never intentionally unkind, but the way in which she looked upon those who were poorer or less intelligent than herself, led her sometimes to act as she ought not to have done; and she did not try to conceal the indifference and contempt with which she regarded Fanny Graham. How sad it is when the goodness of God to ourselves only makes us less kind to others I Fanny reached home that afternoon with a heavy heart ; and when she had put away her bonnet and cloak, she sat down on her little stool, and looked gloomily into the fire. ''Don't you feel well, Fanny?" said her grandmother, kindly. FANNY GRAHAM. 15 "Yes, I am very Avell," re^Dlied the little girl, in a peevish tone. "Then I am sure you are tired, dear; so make haste and pull off your thick shoes, and then you shall have some warm supper. And I have got a bit of good news to tell you," continued her grandmother as she stirred the fire to make the kettle boil afresh; "the new minister's wife is going to begin a Sunday- school, and she has been here this afternoon to ask me if I would let you go to it next Sunday." "And what did you tell her, grandmother?" said Fanny. " I said you should go, for I was sure you would like it, Fanny. Don't you think you shall?" "I am sure I do not knoAv," answered Fanny, sadly. "I think I have quite enough of going to school in the week." " Oh ! but it is not like a day-school," re- marked her grandmother, cheerfully: "you will not have much to learn ; and there will be nice little books given ■ away every month to those children who go in time, and who behave well." Fanny's face brightened a little at the 16 FANNY GRAHAM. description wliich lier grandmother gave of the Sunday-school ; and she thought that if the lessons were few and easy, she should like to become a scholar. She was pleased with the idea of getting a reward book sometimes ; for Fanny, although she was rather slow in committing her daily tasks to memory, was very fond of reading pretty little stories : and as the books were to be given to the most regular and well-behaved, and not to the quickest learners, she felt quite sure that she should be able to merit them. ''And what time will the school begin, grandmother?" said Fanny, with more interest than she had yet manifested. ''Nine o'clock; and Mrs. Simmons hoped you would be there in time. She is such a nice, pleasant lady, Fanny, and speaks so gently. You will not feel at all afraid of her." "But Mrs. Simmons will not teach us, will she?" "No, I do not suppose she will, unless there should not be teachers enough ; but she will be there to manage it all. Miss Simmons, and Mrs. Davidson, and the two Miss Whites have promised to teach every Sunday ; at least, so FANNY GRAHAM. 17 Mrs. Ellis told me -when I vrent to her house this morning to order some coal." <'Is Mary Ellis going?" inquired Fannv, anxiously. "Yes, I believe so," said her grandmother; ''her mother thought she would be delighted with the idea of it." The cloud gathered over Fanny's brow again ; for the mention of Mary recalled many impleasant thoughts. Her grandmother was ignorant of the dislike with which Fanny regarded her schoolfellow, for she never spoke about her school-troubles ; indeed, Mrs. Gra- ham imagined that the little girls were very good friends, so she continued — " Perhaps you will be in the same class with Mary, and that will be very pleasant." " I do not want to be put with her, I am sure," said Fanny, half offended with her grandmo- ther for supposing such a thing." "She is a, very disagreeable girl, and I wish she was not going to the Sunday-school, — that I do." Fanny's grandmother looked surprised. "Why, Fanny, I cannot tell how you can dislike Mary ; she seems such a pleasant, good-tempered little girl, and is so quick at every thing." 18 ' FANNY GRAHAM. ''Well, I do not like her, and I never shall;" persisted Fanny, as she rose from her seat, and went into the other room to change her shoes ; for she did not feel at all inclined to give any reasons for her complaints of Mary. When she came back, the conversation was not continued ; for her grandmother saw that Fanny vras vexed about something, and so she wisely resolved to say no more respecting the Sunday-school, until the little girl had regained her usual cheerfulness. A good night's rest soothed Fanny's irri- tated feelings respecting her schoolfellow, and she was able to talk about the Sunday-school, without exciting such unamiable thoughts of Mary. Children are fond of novelty, and Fanny looked forward with much pleasure, and with some impatience, to the approaching Sunday. She busied herself during the rest of the week in trying to picture the scenes that would then take place, and in studying the first few of some questions which the scholars would have to answer. Fanny disliked learning by heart very much, and therefore the voluntary trouble which she now took was a proof of her anxiety to appear to the best advantage she could at FANNY GRAHAM. 19 her new school. She did not wish to be quite eclipsed by Mary Ellis. How easy it is to do a right thing from a wrong motive ! It was a beautiful morning when Fanny and her grandmother left their home, and turned down the long narrow lane which led to the school. The sun was shining brightly, the birds sang merrily, and the golden corn waved in the gentle breeze. Fanny walked gayly along ; but when they drew near the school, her step grew steadier, and her looks became graver ; for she began to feel half afraid that she should not really like the Sunday-school. She hung timidly behind her grandmother as they entered ; but the kind tones of Mrs. Sim- mons soon re-assured her, and she not only answered distinctly the few questions that were proposed to her, but read with unusual correctness two or three verses which were selected as a test of her attainments. After a few words of encouragement, Mrs. Simmons appointed her a place in the highest class ; it contained only three scholars, at pre- sent, besides Fanny ; for most of the children who came were very ignorant and uninstructed ; and Fanny felt rather proud of her superiority to them. She was also gratified by the disco- 20 FANNY GRAHAM. very that none of lier companions — not even Mary Ellis, had on so smart a frock as her own. Fanny's frock was quite new and very pretty, and w^as trimmed with deep blue fringe ; and she looked a little disdainfully at the faded and sometimes patched dresses of the other girls. Ah ! Fanny was not conscious that she was encouraging in herself the very feelings which she had so condemned in Mary Ellis ! Miss Simmons took charge of the class to which Fanny belonged ; and her gentle man- ners and pleasant remarks soon gained the attention and interest of her little pupils, and they were sorry when the morning's instruc- tions were ended. " How do you like your teacher, Fanny ?" whispered Mary. "Yery much, indeed," said Fanny, warmly. "She is so kind." "And not at all proud," added Mary in a tone of approval. The favourable impression which Miss Simmons made on her little class did not wear off in a few Sundays ; but the affection of the children for their teacher gra- dually increased. Fanny's happiest hours were those which she spent in her Sunday-school; FANNY GRAHAM. 21 and she was always glad when Saturday even- ing came, that she might prepare for the pleasant duties of the morrow. Fanny did not now dislike learning her lessons, at least not those which she had to repeat at her Sun- day-school, for her teacher explained their meaning to her first in so simple and intel- ligent a way, that she found very little diffi- culty in getting them by heart. She could not learn any thing without great trouble un- less she thoroughly understood it, and this was one reason why she had generally appeared so dull. But Miss Simmons made even the "tiresome questions" seem interesting, and it actually became one of Fanny's favourite tasks. Fanny loved Miss Simmons very much, for she felt that Miss Simmons loved her and wished to make her happy ; and the conscious- ness of this threw a cheerful glow over her daily life. If others called her stupid and awkward. Miss Simmons never did ; she was always satisfied with each child if she did her best. Every cff'ort to act rightly was marked and encouraged ; and Miss Simmons strove to impress upon her pupils the importance of cul- tivating the talents they possessed, not from a 22 FANNY GRAHAM. wish to excel others, but from a desire to please and glorify God. Mary Ellis was taught that good abilities and quick perceptions were gifts from God, for the use of which she was responsible to Him ; and that where much is given, much Avill be required ; and Eanny had learned that the possessor of only one talent has quite enough to do if she rightly improves that, without envying those which are entrusted to others. The life of their Saviour upon earth was pointed out to them as their constant and lovely example ; and they were kindly urged to imitate the humility, the meekness, and the self-denial which shone so brightly in his cha- racter. This reference to the conduct of Christ in our every-day actions surprised Fanny at first. Like many children, she had never thought much about her Saviour, or tried to please him. She had scarcely understood why he was her Saviour ; but Vv'hen she heard and believed how much he loved her and what he had done for her, she no longer wondered that she was required to strive to be like him. If, taught by the Holy Spirit, vre believe' that Jesus died to save us from our sins, and from their punishment, and trust in him as our FANXY GRAHAM. 23 Saviour, we shall love him ; and if we love him, we shall be anxious to obey him in every thing, and to follow the pattern which he gave us when he was on earth. Fanny tried to do so ; and the question, ''Would Christ have done this?" or, "Will he be pleased if I say that?" often checked an angry feeling or an unkind word. One twelvemonth passed away, and Fanny was happier, much happier, than she had been before she went to the Sunday-school. The dark frown which had so often clouded her face was now seldom seen, but a sweet, peace- ful smile was there instead ; and her cheerful looks, and obliging behaviour gladdened the heart of her fond grandmother. It is not, however, meant that Fanny gained an easy victory over old habits and disposi- tions. It is not natural for us to do that which is right and good, and therefore we find it very difiicult. Fanny was still fretful and discon- tented at times, but there was an evident struggle against wrong thoughts and passions ; and wherever this is the case, with dependence upon God's help, success is certain. And were Fanny and Mary better friends ? We shall see. Brightly shone the sun one Sunday afternoon as Fanny walked slowly and 24 FANNY GRAHAM. thoughtfully along the quiet lane to church. It was exactly one year on that very day since she first went to her Sunday-school, and she was trying to compare her thoughts and feelings then, with her thoughts and feelings now. It is sometimes pleasant to look back, and sometimes painful ; but it is always profit- able ; because we may learn many useful lessons from the past, which will help us in the future. Just as Fanny turned a corner of the lane, she saw two or three of her schoolfellows, among whom was Mary Ellis, a few yards in advance ; and she lingered on her way in hopes that they would not see her, for they were laughing and talking very loudly, and Fanny was not inclined to join in their mirth. But she was disappointed; for light as her step was, one of them heard it, and they all looked round, and waited until she came up to them. "Why, how grave you look," said Jane Perkins, "what is the matter, Fanny?" '•Nothing," answered Fanny, quietly. "We were just talking about Miss Simmons' new bonnet !" exclaimed Esther Mills. "Was it not a fright?" "I am sure I do not know," replied Fanny, "I have not noticed it." FANNY GRAHAM. 25 "Not noticed it!" said Esther, opening her eyes very widely, " Why how could you help seeing it? Where were your eyes?" " Oh ! Fanny is too good to think about bon- nets on a Sunday ; do you not know how wrong it is?" remarked Mary Ellis, in rather a scorn- ful tone. " Besides, I do not suppose she knows any thing about the fashion." Mary was right. Eanny knew very little indeed about "the fashion," and it was much better that she did not ; and yet she felt vexed by Mary's remark, because it seemed to im- ply that she was inferior to the rest. She was hurt, too, at the taunt about her "goodness," and she was half inclined to a.nswer in a simi- lar spirit, and to say that Mary would have been much better employed in minding her lessons than in criticising Miss Simmons' bon- net ; but better thoughts came into her mind, and she was silent till they entered the church. There was no school held that afternoon, for it was the second Sunday in the month ; and on the second Sunday in every month, Mr. Simmons always preached a sermon to children. Fanny liked these sermons very much, for they were so simple and interesting that she could understand them without any difficulty. 3 26 FANNY GRAHAM. When the text -was given out she found it in her own little Bible, and put her hook mark in the place that she might read it to her grand- mother when she returned home ; and then she fixed her eyes on Mr. Simmons, and listened eagerly to every word that he said. Some of the girls stared about them most of the time, and a few whispered to each other whenever their teacher looked another way ; but Fanny knew that while she was in a place of worship it was both her duty and her privilege to pay attention to her minister, and to receive with thankfulness his gentle instructions. Would you like to know what the text was which Fanny found so carefully in her gilt-edged Bible ? It was that beautiful verse about our Saviour in Isaiah, ^' He shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom;" and Mr. Simmons spoke to the children of the love and care of that good Shepherd who came to seek and to save his lost sheep ; and he asked them to hear the voice of that kind Shepherd, and to follow him, for he would lead them in the green pastures and beside the still waters : he would guard them from every dan- ger, and save them from every foe ; and gather them at last to his heavenly fold above. FANNY GKAIIAM. 27 Fanny hoped that she tn'us one of Christ's lambs. She loved her Saviour and wished to please him, but she felt sorry when she thought how often she wandered from his ways, and followed her own inclinations instead of obey- ing his holy will. The sermon did Fanny good ; for it reminded her of her own weak- ness, and at the same time encouraged her to trust vrith confidence in her kind and faithful Shepherd. A tear stood in Fanny's eye when Mr. Sim- mons finished his sermon, and as she hastily brushed it away, she saw Jane Perkins and Mary Ellis looking at her ; and Jane made a very long face in ridicule of Fanny's serioas expression of , countenance, and then Mary laughed. Fanny coloured a little, for it is not pleasant, even to a child, to become an object of ridicule by others ; but she took no notice of the conduct of her schoolfellovrs ; and when Mary, in passing out, dropped her handker- chief, Fanny, who was behind, picked it up and gave it to her with a very pleasant smile. She was resolved that Mary's rudeness should not make Iter ill-tempered. Mary looked a little ashamed as she thanked Fanny, and, in- stead of pushing rudely before her, when they 28 FANNY GRAHAM. reached the door, as she would otherwise have done, she made room for Fanny to pass as well. How delightful it is to return good for evil ! If you have any doubt about it, dear young reader, just try for yourselves, and see if you do not find, as Fanny did, that an unkind ac- tion is best repaid by a kind one. Our Saviour teaches us to love our enemies, and to do good to them that hate us ; and, if we would be his disciples, we must try to obey his precepts. Fanny found her brother waiting for her when she got outside, for he, too, had been to hear the children's lecture ; and the reason why he had not walked with his sister to the church was, because he went round another and a longer way, that he might carry some broth from his grandmother to a poor woman who was ill. Harry was not a Sunday-scholar ; shall I tell you why ? He was very tall and manly for his age, and all the boys in the Sunday- school were both shorter and younger than himself, and Harry was therefore ashamed to be seen among them. He fancied that per- sons would smile, or feel amused, if they noticed him in the Sunday-school, and although FANNY GRAHAM. 29 he would gladly have shared in the instructions which were there given, this false shame made him keep away. Ah ! how frequently the dread of ridicule hinders many in the path towards heaven ! But Harry always went to the children's service — he liked it almost as much as Fanny did — and then Fanny and he walked home together and talked about the sermon ; and Harry was sometimes surprised to find how much more Fanny remembered, and how much more clearly she understood it than he did. And yet Fanny was so dull ! Harry certainly did not think so. He was very fond of his little sister, and he enter- tained a far higher opinion of her abilities than Mary Ellis did. It was to please Fanny that Harry first went to the children's service, but he soon had a better motive for going. Mr. Simmons' kind and earnest appeals to the young people, and his simple explanations of the doctrines and precepts of the Holy Scrip- tures, had made Harry thoughtful and consi- derate ; and now, through God's grace, he listened with serious attention to all that was told him about the way of salvation. Fanny loved her brother very much, and 80 FANNY GRAHAM. she was delighted when she found that on the most important of all subjects, their thoughts and feelings were so much alike. Happy are the brothers and sisters who travel together not only in the journey of life, but in the way to heaven ! Fanny was at her school, as usual, on Mon- day ; and the quiet engagements of the children were somewhat varied in the afternoon by the unexpected, but not unwelcome, appearance of a kind old gentleman, who sometimes paid a visit to the school. They were very glad to see him, for he always had a pleasant smile and a cheerful word for each little girl as he walked round the room, — now asking a ques- tion, now looking over a copy, and now listen- ing to a hymn or a few verses of Scripture, from one of the youthful group. Before he went away he told the first class (the class to which Mary Ellis belonged), that he would give a very pretty little book to any girl in that class who would commit to memo- ry, against the next morning, a piece of poetry which he pointed out to them in one of the books. It was a long and rather difficult piece, but the tempting offer induced even the most indolent of the girls to agree to learn it, FANNY GRAHAM. 31 or, at all events, to 'try to do so ; and Mary Ellis was in high spirits during the rest of the afternoon, for the reward which the old gen- tleman promised was the very book which she had been wishing for a day or two before ; and Mary had no doubt whatever about getting it, for she could learn any thing very quickly if she chose, and poetry was especially easy to her. Fanny, on the contrary, was very dull after their kind visitor had departed, for she, like Mary, was very anxious to become the possessor of the nice little book. She had seen one of the same kind in a shop window as she came to school, and it had quite taken her fancy. But then Fanny was not in Mary's class, so that she could not avail herself of the promise that had been made to it. Gladly would Fanny have sat up until late that even- ing to learn the poetry, if she might have stood any chance of gaining the book ; but it could not be, and she felt both sorry and vexed when she thought so. She was envious, too, of Mary. She did not like that she should have the bright opportunity which was denied to herself. "Mary has plenty of story-books," Fanny would have said, if her thoughts had been put into words ; "- it will not be half such a treat 32 FANNY GRAHAM. to her if she gets it as it would be to me, and yet- 1 cannot even try for it ! It is very hard that Mary should be so much better off in every respect than I am ; she is always fortu- nate, but I can never have any thing I want." Was this Fanny who repined thus ? Was this the little girl whose heart glowed yester- day with holy and happy thoughts ? Are you surprised at the contrast, dear young reader ? It is, perhaps, because you are but little ac- quainted with your own heart. Oh ! it is sad to reflect how easy it is to pass from right to wrong. And if you have ever tried to over- come bad feelings and habits, you will know how difficult is the task ; how slowly — hovf very slowly — victory is gained. Fanny, at least, found it so. She had hoped that the selfishness and envy, which she really wished to get rid of, would soon disappear, but she found, as all will find who make the like effort, that the contest is a hard and sometimes a lengthened one. But Fanny did not therefore give up trying. Give up ! Oh no. She struggled on, trusting in God for his help to enable her to persevere, and he gave her strength to subdue her sinful inclina- tions and wishes. FANNY GRAHAM. 33 It was so to-day. Fanny saw how wrong and how unreasonable it was to envy Mary, or to feel cross with her on account of the reward-book, and she hastened to banish such unworthy thoughts from her mind, and tried to rejoice in the happiness of another. She could not, however, quite forget the book which the old gentleman had promised ; and she hoped that if Mary got one she would lend it to her to read, and that Avould be almost as good as having it herself. When Fanny w^ent home and had finished her tea, she sat down to prepare her lessons for to-morrow, for she was very anxious to make all the improvement she could ; but her grandmother interrupted her by saying, "Fanny, dear, before you begin, I want you to run down to Mrs. Ellis w^ith this little parcel." The little girl was comfortably settled, and she did not feel much inclined to go out again. " It rains, grandmother," — she said slowly, as she looked through the window. "The rain will not hurt you in that short distance. You can put on your over-shoes, and take an umbrella." Fanny would once have grumbled and hesi- 34 FANNY GRAHAM. tated, but she had now learned the duty of obedience ; so she did not answer again, but went cheerfully on her grandmother's errand. She tapped at Mrs. Ellis's door, and was told to walk into the little parlour. Mary w^as sitting in one corner of the room, with her unopened books before her, crying ! Fanny delivered her parcel and her message, and then turned round to inquire the cause of her schoolfellow's grief. It was so unusual to see a cloud on Mary's smiling face, that Fanny could not imagine what had happened. Mary dried her tears when Fanny came in, and seemed half vexed that she should have noticed them ; but she did not look up, nor attempt to give the explanation which was asked. Her mother answered for her. "Mary has been crying," said Mrs. Ellis, " because she left one of her books at school this afternoon. She wants to go back and get it; but I cannot let her do that, for it is coming on very wet, and she has a severe cold." "But, Mary," said Fanny, in a tone of sympathy, "you need not mind missing one lesson to-morrow. Mrs. Brown will not blame you if you tell her that you forgot to take FANNY GRAHAM. 35 your book liome, and you will only lose one ticket." "But it is my poetry-book," exclaimed Mary, "with mingled sorrow and impatience, '' and I cannot learn the piece which was given our class, and then I shall lose the reward- book to-morrow." "Well, there's no use in fretting about it," said Mrs. Ellis, cheerfully, "you must save up the money, and buy the book yourself." " But that will not be half so good as having it given," pouted Mary, "and the poetry would have been so easy to learn !" "Never mind," continued Fanny, "it can- not be helped now, you know, and you will not be any worse off than I am; besides, you get so many prizes." These remarks were not very consolatory, although Fanny intended them to be so. "It is very easy to say 'Never mind,'" replied Mary, half angrily. " Of course, you do not care about it, because there is no chance of your getting the book;" and Mary turned away from Fanny as if she did not choose to say any more to her. Fanny soon took her leave, as her presence did not seem very agreeable to Mary ; but as 86 FANNY GRAHAM. she stepped across the threshold of the door, a bright thought struck her mind. She recol- lected that among some old books of Harry's, there was a half-worn-out copy of the same poetry-book which she had been in the habit of using, and it would do quite as well as Mary's own to learn the piece from ; she would make haste home and bring it for her ; it would be such a good opportunity of showing Mary that she wished to be kind and obliging. Some girls, if they had been in Fanny's place, would have thought very differently. They would have said to themselves, <' I am sure I shall not take the trouble to lend Mary my book, when she is so rude and uncivil to me. She wall be served quite right to be disappointed to-morrow." Children generally imagine that if we are kind to those wdio are kind to us, it is all tha^t can be expected from us. The Jews, in the time of our Saviour, used to say, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy:" but Jesus Christ told them that they were to love their enemies, to do good to those that hate them, and to pray for those who try to injure them. This is a difficult lesson, but Fanny had learned it, or rather, she had begun to do so. FAXNY GRAHAM. 37 Fanny soon searched her grandmother's cot- tage, and obtained permission to lend Mary the book, and to run back to her with it. The rain was now falling very fast, and the ground, not being paved, was wet and muddy ; but Fanny was accustomed to be out in all weathers, so she trudged along very contentedly beneath the shelter of her large umbrella. Besides, had the walk been ever so disagreeable, Fanny would not have cared just then, because her object was such a pleasant one. She knocked the second time at Mrs. Ellis's door ; and on re-entering the parlour, found Mary sitting exactly where she had left her, and looking as listless and unhappy as before. With glowing cheeks and a beaming countenance, Fanny ran eagerly forward, and, placing the old book in Mary's hand, told her how glad she was that she had been able to find it. Mary looked really pleased, and she thank- ed Fanny w^armly for her kindness in coming out on purpose to bring it ; and she felt at that moment a little ashamed that she had so often laughed at Fanny on account of her <'dulness" and her "goodness." It was a very simple act of kindness which 4 38 FANXY GKAIIAM. Fanny had performed, and yet she felt more than usually light-hearted and happy during the rest of the evening, and she seemed to learn her lessons with less difBculty. Such is the blessed influence which doing good to others has upon ourselves ! The morning came, and Fanny went to school, and so did Mary, in spite of her bad cold, for she could not be persuaded by her mother to stay at home, because, if she did, she must give up the promised book. And did Mary get the book ? Yes ; the kind old gentleman gave her one when she had repeated the piece of poetry to him ; and he told her that she had said it very well indeed. Mary was delighted with her reward, but she did not forget that she was partly indebted to Fanny for it ; and Fanny was the first to wdiom she turned to display her newly acquired treasure. " It looks like such a pretty book, Fanny. You can read it in the play-hour if you like, and I will lend it to you again to-morrow." Fanny was much pleased with this offer; and she was also gratified by the kind manner in which it was made ; for Mary was not in the habit of speaking so pleasantly to her. FANXY GRAHAM. 39 When the children were dismissed from school that morning, Fanny did not forget to claim from Mary the fulfilment of her pro- mise ; and, while the other girls were amusing themselves in the garden, Fanny sat by herself in the schoolroom, reading the noAV book, and feeling very happy. Perhaps, dear young reader, you expected that Fanny would get a reward-book as well as Mary. You thought that her kindness to her schoolfellow deserved compensation, and therefore you fancied that in some way the old gentleman would find a reason for bestowing one of his presents on her. I am very glad he did not : because then you might have imagined that every kind action, like that of Fanny's, would meet with a similar recompense. "And why should we not imagine so?" perhaps some child may exclaim. <^ Are we ahvays to do that which is right, and get no- thing by it?" Get nothing by it ! Yes, dear reader ; you will have a peaceful conscience, and a light heart. Is not that enough ? If you are influ- enced in the performance of an apparently generous, thoughtful, or self-denying deed, by the mere expectation of getting as much in 40 FANNY GRAHAM. return, it is plain that your motive is a selfish one. Now we should do what we know to be right, whatever the consequences may be ; and the sweet feeling of self-approval, or rather the consciousness of God's approval, should be a sufficient reward for so doing. Fanny was very much interested in the story she was reading ; and so quickly did the time pass away, that she was quite surprised when the clock gave the warning sound for two. She would have liked to finish the book then, but this could not be ; pleasure must give way to duty ; so Fanny closed the pretty volume, and returned it to Mary, thanking her for the loan of it. "It is such a beautiful story, Mary," she said, "I wonder whether it is all true." " What signifies whether it is true or not?" replied Mary. '' If it is amusing, that is all I care about." Mary seemed heated and tired. She sat down on the low form and leaned her head against the table. "What is the matter, Mary?" said Fanny. " My head aches so," answered Mary. " Does it," responded Fanny, kindly ; " shall 1 ask for something to bathe your forehead FAXNY GRAHAM. 41 Tvitli? Grandmother always uses something when she has the headache, and it does her so much good." " Oh, do not tease me !" said IMarj, fret- fully. " I wish you would be quiet !" Fanny had no intention of "teasing," but as she saw that Mary could not bear to be spoken to, she remained silent, and the only further notice she took of her headache was to tell the little children not to make a noise, because it would disturb Mary. When the eno^agements of the school com- menced again, Mary's flushed cheek and heavy eyes attracted the attention of the teacher, and she told her she had better go home, for she was not well enough to continue her studies that afternoon. Many of the girls would have been glad of this permission; but Mary was so diligent, and BO anxious for self-improvement that she was never willingly absent from her class. Yet her headache was so violent that she did not hesi- tate to follow her teacher's advice ; and when she had folded up her work and put it away, she left the school. Fanny felt sorry that Mary was so unwell. She had envied her when she saw the book 4* 42 FANNY GRAHAM. given to her, but now she saw that Mary had troubles to bear as well as other people. The next morning Mary's place in school was vacant, so it was evident that she was not better. Fanny had intended to call at Mrs. Ellis's after breakfast, to inquire after her schoolfellow ; but she overslept herself, and was obliged to hasten the nearest way to school. Her grandmother had, however, given her leave to go round there on her return, and Fanny did so. Mrs. Ellis came herself to the door. ''How is Mary to-day?" said Fanny. "Very poorly indeed," replied Mrs. Ellis. " She was very restless and feverish all night ; and this afternoon she has appeared so much worse, that we have sent for the doctor." "What does he say?" inquired Fanny, anxiously ; for she did not understand that he had not yet arrived. "We have only just sent for him," an- swered Mrs. Ellis. "I wish he would come, for I feel quite concerned about Mary." Fanny said she would call again to-morrow as she went to school, that she might hear what the doctor said ; and then she walked slowly homewards, thinking about Mary, and FANNY GRAHAM. 43 wondering whether she would get better. Her envious feelings respecting her schoolfellow were all forgotten. Fanny saw how vain was every worldly advantage in the hour of sick- ness, and in the prospect of death ; and she wished she could feel sure that Mary loved her Saviour, and trusted in him, because she knew that it is only by faith in Jesus Christ that we are prepared for another world, as well as made happy in this. Mary was much worse the next morning ; and for several days it was extremely doubtful whether she would get well again. Her parents were afraid that they must part with their beloved child; it was a sad trial for them, but it made them reflect how wrongly they had acted in training their little girl so much more for earth than heaven. Their chief desire had been to see her grow up pretty and bright, and admired by others, and the " one thing needful" had been almost lost sight of; for, although they had sent her to the Sunday-school when it was opened, they had done so more because they were pleased with its novelty than from any real desire that Mary should remember her Creator in the days of her youth. 44 . '\ FANNY GRAHAM. It lio we var pleased God that Mary should recover ; but it Avas a long time before she re- gained her usual strength. For several months her cheeks were thin and pale ; her thick, glossy ringlets, of which she had been so vain, were gone ; they had been cut off during the fever ; and she was so weak that she could not walk to the bottom of the garden without feel- ing VQry tired. Mary was, indeed, an altered little girl ; and the alteration in her personal appearance was not more striking than the change in her feelings and conduct. Her illness had made her think differently about many things. When she saw how grave the doctor looked as he stood by her bedside, and heard her mother's anxious sigh, she was afraid that she might, perhaps, soon die ; and she knew that she was not ready to die. How gladly at that moment would she have changed places with Fanny — the despised little Fanny whom she had so often teased and ridi- culed. How much more precious did Fanny's quiet. Christian, and consistent conduct then appear to Mary than her own pretty looks and quick abilities. She thought of her past life; how forgetful she had been of the God who made her ; how continually she had FANNY GRAHAM. 45 broken his laws ; hoAV much she, had disliked his ways ; and she remembered, too, the unkind words and the selfish actions which had too frequently marked her intercourse with others. I do not mean that she was able to do this while she was very ill ; for her head was so painful, and the fever was so high, that she could not think at all collectedly for several days, and sometimes she was quite insensible. How true it is that a sick or dying bed is not the place for beginning to think about reli- gion ! Now while you are in health, dear children, seek God, and you shall certainly find him ; for "Now is the accepted time; be- hold, now is the day of salvation." It was when the fever left Mary, and she was beginning to get better, that these thoughts came into her mind, and the kind and faithful instructions which she had received at her Sunday-school came to her memory, and pro- duced that good efi'ect which they had failed to do when she first heard them. She recollected what her teacher had told her about Jesus Christ — that he died to save sinners, and has promised he will never cast out any who come to him ; and Mary hoped that he would save her — that he would forgive her all her sins, 46 FANNY GRAHAM. and make her His child. She asked him to do so ; she prayed to him, not with her lips only, but with her heart ; and God heard and answered her prayer. Mary loved to think about her Saviour now, and to hear about him ; and if you had seen the smile which lighted up her pale features, or the tear which glistened in her eye, as she listened to the chapter out of the Bible which Miss Simmons read to her, you would have said that Mary was in- deed changed since the time that she used to talk and trifle during worship, and laugh at Fanny for being so "good." Miss Simmons was very thankful as she marked the differ- ence, for she earnestly desired to see all the dear children committed to her charge treading in the narrow way which leads to eternal life ; and she trusted that Mary's steps were now directed in that pleasant and peaceful path. But I have been so busy telling you about Mary, that I have almost forgotten her little friend Fanny. Twice a day, while Mary was dangerously ill, Fanny's gentle tap might have been heard at Mrs. Ellis's door — for she al- ways called in the morning as she went to school, and in the evening when she returned, to inquire after her schoolfellow — and when FANNY GRAHAM. 47 Mary was pronounced out of clanger, I do not think that any one, except her father and mother, felt more glad than Fanny did. And Fanny went in as frequently as she could to see Mary — for she could not run about and amuse herself as she used to do, and she was very weary with being so quiet and alone ; for her mother was too busy to stay with her always, and she had no brothers or sisters to keep her company. So Fanny would go and sit with her of an evening, and on her half- holidays, (if her grandmother could spare her,) and tell her any little circumstance which happened at school, or read to her out of one of the pretty books which Miss Simmons lent them. Fanny seemed to have forgotten the past. She was as kind and attentive to Mary as if she had always been her warmest friend. And did Mary forget the past ? Oh no ! She could not but think of her little unkind- nesses towards Fanny, and of the proud feeling with which she had compared ''the dull girl" with herself, and she was ashamed and hum- bled on account of them. She could not receive unmoved the repeated expressions of Fanny's goodwill towards her ; and as her little 48 FANNY GRAHAM. schoolfellow would sometimes run into the room, her cheeks glowing with health and good humour, with a bunch of sweet wildflowers, or a few red currants, which she had gathered off her own bushes, the tears would come into Mary's eyes, to think how little she had de- served such kind attention ; and she wondered that she could ever have called Fanny stupid. How delighted Fanny was to find that Mary welcomed her visits, and was grateful for her friendship, and, above all, loved and trusted in the same Saviour, we must leave you to imagine. Six months passed away since Mary was taken ill, and her birthday, which happened about that time, found her still pale and deli- cate ; but there was an expression of peace and humility on her countenance which had never been observed there in her more healthful days. Fanny was invited to spend the whole of that day with Mary ; and her grandmother kindly allowed her to do so. She went early in the morning, and stayed till bed-time ; and the little girls were very happy together. It would have been a pleasant sight if you could have seen them as they sat by themselves in the nice arbour which Mr. Ellis had made in FANNY GRAHAM. 49 Kis garden ; Fanny with her arm round Mary, and both looking at the new book which Mary's mother had bought her for a birthday present. It is time, however, that this story should close ; and I think I cannot leave off at a bet- ter part than where Fanny and Mary became such good friends. But you would like to know whether they remained the same when Mary got quite well ; and I am very glad to be able to tell you that they did. Mary had learned that there are other things more valuable than a quick understanding and a good memory, and she could therefore admire, and also try to imitate, Fanny's unselfish con- duct, and her steady desire to do that which was right. And Fanny, too, had grown wiser than she used to be. The word of God had taught her that, while we diligently strive to improve our own talents, we are not to envy those which are intrusted to others ; and she could therefore look at Mary's superior abilities and and attainments without that murmuring and repining which they had once excited. Now, dear young readers, let this story of Fanny, and the peep at her heart, lead you to examine yourselves. Are you cherishing any feeling of pride and discontent ? Dismiss it at 5 i5558;:i? 50 FANNY GRAHAM. once, or rather ask God to give you his grace, that, being made his children by adoption, you may daily be renewed by his Holy Spirit, and be enabled to subdue and overcome all your sinful passions.